Catriona Carey given suspended sentence for driving without licence or insurance

Garda says accountant went ‘totally out of control’ when she tried to seize BMW car

A garda was screamed at by a “totally out of control” woman after she informed her that her uninsured car would be seized, Kilkenny District Court has heard.

Catriona Carey (44), of Weir View Hill, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, on Monday received a suspended prison sentence for driving without a licence or insurance while disqualified from driving.

Barrister Kevin Roche, for Carey, said his client was pleading guilty to four charges: driving without insurance and without a driving licence at Weir View, Kilkenny, on December 10th last and driving without insurance and without a driving licence at Glendine, Castlecomer Road on November 21st last.

Garda Julie Chapman told the court that at the time of the first incident she was operating a speed check and observed a BMW driving at 70km/h in a 50km/h zone at 3.50pm. She stopped the car and asked the driver, Carey, for her licence.

Carey told the garda she did not have the licence but did have a picture of it on her phone. The garda scanned this with a mobile device and explained to Carey that she was disqualified from driving, which meant she was not covered by insurance, and that she was going to seize her car.

‘Out of control’

She said Carey then screamed at her and refused to hand over the keys, saying she wanted to know how she was meant to get her children to school and do the shopping.

“She was totally out of control,” the garda said.

Carey eventually calmed down and the car was seized.

Garda Thomas Loughnane said that on December 10th last he observed Carey driving at Weir View and was aware that she had been disqualified from driving.

He stopped Carey, informed her she was disqualified and asked for her licence and insurance documents. He said Carey asked ‘are you targeting me?’ and ‘do you expect me to get taxis?’.

Mr Roche said there had been some confusion about Carey’s final set of penalty points, which led to her disqualification, and that she had been attempting to appeal them. He said Carey had never been banned from driving in a court and it was not a case that she had “flagrantly disregarded” a court order.

Previous convictions

There were three previous convictions recorded against Carey, including a speeding offence in October 2018, and an eight month suspended prison sentence handed down in February 2020 on a theft charge.

Mr Roche said his client is the primary carer to her two children, which meant that she needed to drive. He said his client wanted to apologise to Garda Chapman for the events at the side of the road and asked the court to be as lenient as possible.

Judge Geraldine Carthy convicted Carey of driving without insurance last November and fined her €300 and disqualified her from driving for two years.

She said it was “very difficult to offer an excuse” for the December incident given Carey got into the car again knowing that she was disqualified.

She convicted and sentenced Carey to three months imprisonment which was suspended for 12 months on condition that Carey enter a bond to keep the peace. She was also disqualified from driving for four years.

Carey, an accountant and former Ireland international hockey player, recently featured in an RTÉ Investigates programme which alleged she was involved in a scam in which dozens of people with distressed property loans lost money.

Her company Careysfort Asset Estates took deposits and offered to return the fees if deals to buy their debts from lenders at a discount did not materialise. Gardaí are investigating the payments and the manner in which they were secured after receiving a number of complaints.